The Ukrainian army is in front of Cherson and the Russians announce their withdrawal. But an expert warns – and suspects a Russian trap. Meanwhile, the United States is delivering a new $400 million aid package. All current voices and developments on the Ukraine war can be found in the ticker.

More on the course of the war in Ukraine.

Saturday, November 5, 3:12 p.m.: For several weeks, the Ukrainian army has been slowly but surely advancing on Kherson. The Russian side has already withdrawn personnel from there – and announced it so big that political scientist Markus Kaim from the German Science and Politics Foundation suspects a trap.

Speaking to “Ntv” Kaim said: “For ten, fourteen days we have been hearing from the Ukrainian side that they are preparing to take Kherson. I’m still a little reluctant because the Russian side’s announcement of its withdrawal is so inviting that one almost gets the impression that the Russians want to set a trap,” Kaim analyses. “The fact that Cherson is being offered on a silver platter should make Ukraine suspicious.”

The political scientist has a suspicion: “There are voices from Kyiv that Russia wants to involve the Ukrainian armed forces in street fighting. That seems more like the right reading to me.”

5:45 p.m .: To support Ukraine in its defense against the Russian attackers, the United States is providing the country with additional military aid worth 400 million US dollars. This was announced by the US Department of Defense on Friday in Washington. US military support for Kyiv has thus totaled $18.9 billion since US President Joe Biden took office in early 2021. According to the Pentagon, most of the weapons and equipment – $18.2 billion – have been delivered dollars – pledged since the Russian invasion at the end of February.

The new package included 45 refurbished Soviet-designed T-72 main battle tanks, Pentagon Deputy spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said. The tanks come from the Czech Republic. The Netherlands, in turn, also provided 45 tanks of this type. In total, 90 T-72 main battle tanks would be delivered to Ukraine. The trilateral agreement with the Czech Republic and the Netherlands on the delivery of the T-72 tanks is a direct result of the deliberations of the so-called international Ukraine contact group, through which arms deliveries to the country are coordinated.

Singh said Ukraine was familiar with Soviet-designed tanks. On the other hand, introducing a new main battle tank to the battlefield would be extremely expensive, difficult and a great challenge for the Ukrainian troops. Some of the T-72 tanks should be delivered before the end of the year, with the rest in the new year.

The spokeswoman also announced that the US was establishing a “Ukraine Security Assistance Group” at its Wiesbaden location to further coordinate long-term support for Kyiv. This is subordinate to the European US command.

1.30 p.m .: Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law allowing the mobilization of serious criminals. The RIA news agency reports on Friday, as Reuters reports. The law excludes those convicted of child sexual abuse, treason, espionage or terrorism, according to RIA.

1:25 p.m .: Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev insulted the Russians who fled on Telegram. In view of the partial mobilization, a number of Russians have left the country. “Cowardly traitors and greedy defectors have fled to distant lands – may their bones rot abroad,” writes Medvedev on his Telegram channel.

“We were abandoned by some frightened partners – who cares,” Medvedev said, emphasizing that Russia would be “stronger and cleaner” without the citizens who fled.

1:05 p.m .: Thanks to an international fundraiser, the Ukrainian army is getting 60 armored personnel carriers from old British stock. This was announced by the foundation of the prominent Ukrainian TV presenter Serhiy Prytula. The aim of the campaign since Wednesday was to collect the equivalent of 5.4 million euros for 50 FV103 Spartan tracked vehicles. On Thursday evening, Prytula reported on Twitter that the goal had been exceeded. “No one will conquer our nation because we are Ukrainians!” he wrote.

11:59 a.m .: The Federal Constitutional Court has rejected an urgent application against German arms deliveries to Ukraine. It was directed against the corresponding resolutions of the Federal Government and the Bundestag, as the court announced. However, the applicants did not state that a future constitutional complaint could have a chance of success. The court did not reveal who made the application.

Friday. November 4, 10:55 a.m.: Germany and China are pushing for a rapid de-escalation in the Russian war against Ukraine. “President Xi and I agree: nuclear threats are irresponsible and extremely dangerous,” said Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) after talks with the Chinese leadership in Beijing on Friday. He told Chinese President Xi Jinping “that it is important for China to exert its influence on Russia.”

At a joint press conference with Scholz, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang distanced himself unusually clearly from the war: “We can no longer afford any further escalation,” he said. It is now time to “get both sides to engage in peace talks,” Li said. “We don’t want regional stability to be shaken, international production and supply chains to be destabilized,” he added. “We don’t want to see that.”

China has so far avoided openly criticizing Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. The People’s Republic maintains close contacts with Russia, trade has increased significantly since the beginning of the war – for example, China is buying more Russian oil that the West is no longer buying.

4:36 p.m .: According to its own statements, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has so far found no evidence of the construction of a “dirty bomb” by Ukraine. This resulted from an inspection of three locations in Ukraine, said IAEA Director Rafael Grossi on Thursday. “Our previous technical and scientific evaluation of the results did not show any evidence of undeclared nuclear activities and materials at these three locations.”

The investigation was prompted by Russian allegations that Kyiv allegedly wanted to use a “dirty bomb”. Kyiv had firmly denied the allegations and asked for an IAEA mission. Such a bomb consists of radioactive material released with conventional explosives. Unlike an atomic bomb, there is no nuclear chain reaction.

The IAEA experts have been able to carry out all planned activities in the past few days and have received unrestricted access, the organization said. According to the information, the inspectors also collected environmental samples. This sampling is a commonly used security measure using ultra-sensitive analytical techniques that can provide information on past and current activities related to nuclear material. According to Grossi, the results of the environmental samples will be reported as soon as possible.

3:10 p.m .: Switzerland has blocked the transfer of tank ammunition from Germany to Ukraine for the second time. Bern cannot agree to such a shipment of Swiss-made war material if the recipient country is involved in an international conflict, Swiss Economy Minister Guy Parmelin wrote to German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht on Thursday. “Switzerland applies the law of neutrality in the relationship between Russia and Ukraine,” said a statement from the Federal Department of Economics, Education and Research (EAER) in Bern.

Berlin had previously requested in Bern because of the approximately 12,400 cartridges of Swiss origin for the anti-aircraft tank Gepard for the Ukraine. At the beginning of June, Parmelin formally rejected the export for the first time with reference to Swiss neutrality.

1.30 p.m .: Because of London’s alleged involvement in a Ukrainian drone attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow has summoned the British Ambassador. The conversation with Ambassador Deborah Bronnert on Thursday lasted about half an hour, the Russian state news agency Tass reported.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova had previously announced that Bronnert would like to be presented with evidence of the involvement of British specialists in the preparation of the drone attack on Saturday. The evidence should also be made public. Moscow also suspects Great Britain to be behind the sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea at the end of September. London had firmly rejected this.

1:03 p.m .: The Mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, has expressed concern about the upcoming winter. “If it’s minus 10 or minus 20 degrees outside, which happens every winter, then we have real problems,” said Klitschko in an interview with “n-tv”. In view of the Russian attacks on critical infrastructure, the power failed for hours in several regions of Ukraine, including the capital Kyiv. According to sources in Kyiv, Moscow is engaged in “energy terror”.

Thousands of emergency shelters are now to be built to protect against the cold, in which people can also be provided with food, according to Klitschko. Ukraine has enough reserves of food, water and medicines, he says, and asks people to stay in the country despite the cold winter. According to Klitschko, residents should prepare for the cold season with enough supplies, warm clothes and power banks.

10.18 a.m .: According to Ukrainian information, the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, which was occupied by Russian soldiers, is again without external power. The Ukrainian power plant operator Enerhoatom announced on Thursday that the last two high-voltage lines connecting the nuclear power plant with the Ukrainian energy grid had failed due to Russian fire.

Reactors five and six of Europe’s largest nuclear facility have been shut down completely. For power supply and cooling, the plant relies on its 20 diesel generators, which have enough fuel for about 15 days.

Enerhoatom saw the destruction of the lines as another attempt by Moscow to disconnect the nuclear power plant from the Ukrainian grid and connect it to the Russian-controlled power grid in Donbass and Crimea. A representative of the Russian nuclear company Rosenergoatom, on the other hand, accused Ukraine of destroying the two lines and thus posing a threat to the plant.

9:00 a.m.: After enormous losses, Russia in the Ukraine war is missing modern combat vehicles according to British secret services. Russian soldiers are believed to be frustrated at having to use old infantry vehicles called “aluminum cans,” the UK Defense Ministry’s daily briefing said on Thursday.

By mid-October, Russian units were losing more than 40 vehicles a day in the face of Ukrainian counterattacks, which the British say is about the equipment of an entire battalion. In the past few weeks, Moscow has bought at least 100 additional tanks and infantry fighting vehicles from Belarusian stocks. Presumably, however, it is difficult for the Russian units to procure sufficient suitable replacements for the damaged material, which causes problems for the offensive.

The British Ministry of Defense has published daily information on the course of the war since the start of the Russian war of aggression at the end of February, citing intelligence information. With this, London wants to counter the Russian portrayal of events and keep allies in line. Moscow speaks of a disinformation campaign.

12:38 a.m .: According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to the largest displacement of people in decades. “About 14 million people have been displaced from their homes since February 24,” UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said in New York on Wednesday (local time). And the situation does not improve before a supposedly harsh winter.

“The destruction of civilian infrastructure caused by attacks, which continues as we speak, quickly makes humanitarian aid seem like a drop in the ocean,” continued Italian Grandi. Humanitarian aid must be expanded further, the “senseless” war must be ended.

Because of the war damage to electricity and heat supply, the Ukrainian government recently asked those who had fled abroad not to return until next spring. According to the UNHCR, more than seven million people from Ukraine have sought protection abroad – around one million of them in Germany.

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